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Björgvin Benediktsson: Musician, Audio Engineer, and Entrepreneur

Listen to how Björgvin shapes Tucson’s economy by how he Lives, Works and Plays.

Isaac Figueroa: Commercial Real Estate, Secret to Sales Success, and How To Build a Network

Listen to how Isaac shapes Tucson’s economy by how he Lives, Works and Plays.

Strategic Thinking – A Critical Skill for adapting to a rapidly changing world

The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question.

Mentor Me Live with Mica Kinder


Mica Kinder

Today on Mentor Me Live, we are going to tackle fear. As entrepreneurs, we are constantly facing our fears. The fear of running out of money, fear of hiring the wrong person, fear of customers rejecting us, the fear of our skills not being enough to accomplish our gigantic visions.

A recent HBR research study of 65 entrepreneurs noted that for entrepreneurs, courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is the ability to persist in spite of it.

Here are a few tips on how to be a courageous entrepreneur:

  1. Identify the sources of your fear – If you don’t know where your fears are coming from, how can you address them? We must strengthen our self-awareness and dig deep to resolve root cause personal issues holding us back.
  2. Next, we need to break our vision into small and achievable milestones. This allows us to take action, feel a sense of accomplishment, and reduce procrastination.
  3. Utilize Ulysses contracts and time commitments to force forward motion. If you haven’t yet ready Annie Duke’s “Thinking in Bets” go grab a copy. It will change how you make decisions.

Each of us brings our own fears to the table when we found a startup, but as Winston Churchill once said:  

 “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

The power of individuals, of entrepreneurs, and of startups lies in their ability to change, to adapt, and to transform themselves to ultimately accomplish their life-saving vision.

Put your fears aside and get back to work changing the world.

Connect with Mica Kinder here:


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Shoutouts and Mentions:


Insulin Now

Transforming the legal industry with LegalBreeze

It is always exciting to see entrepreneurs with big vision, and this week we’re learning from LegalBreeze as they work to level the playing field for access to legal services. They are taking on transformation of a complex and dynamic industry which is ripe for change.

Mark Dean is the Chief Strategy Officer at Legal Breeze. His full bio is at the end of the article. 

Troy Hoch

Troy Hoch is one of the founders of Legal Breeze. His full bio is also at the end of this article.

The key lessons covered in this episode are: 

    • Your go-to market plan will be wrong: If you operate with this belief, then it’s critical to build a learning engine to find a beach-head and ultimately a G2M strategy that works. Legalbreeze has built a learning engine that allows them to review customer data and insights from experiments they run every 72 hours. They aspire to get this down to a 24 hour cycle which will allow them to learn three times faster.
    • Changing consumer behavior is really difficult: Use the learning engine you’re building to measure whether behavior change is occurring with your beach-head customers as well as engage with them personally to understand why or why not. If the evidence (data + insights) from customers suggests that customers are not changing behavior then pivot to a different customer segment based on the same evidence.
    • Explore broadly: Utilize curve-ball Experiments to help find alternative customer segments. A great example of this is Legalbreeze skipping digital marketing temporarily, and handing out fliers in person to better understand customers. These guerilla marketing and face-to-face methods are amazon tools to learn lots from customers really quickly.

Mark Dean has built a successful career leading and developing high-performance sales-service teams with several Fortune-1000 technology and financial services organizations. Mark currently is involved in leading the strategic and Go-to-Market Sales and Marketing strategy for a new legal technology startup called LegalBreeze, Inc.
LegalBreeze’s vision is to change the way lawyers and consumers connect to solve legal matters by empowering everyone with information. LegalBreeze’s platform is designed to be the one-stop-shop for lawyers to grow and manage their law practice of the future while simplifying the task of hiring a lawyer for consumers and small businesses.

He also had the pleasure of learning through his roles leading various sales, service, and customer enterprise functions at LinkedIn, Go-Daddy, Intuit, First Data, and Household Credit Services.

As a former college basketball player at Old Dominion University, Mark credits his successful track record of building and leading successful teams to his experience competing at the highest level in college sports. He believes “business is a team sport!”.

Mark holds a BS Degree in Finance from Old Dominion University in Virginia and an MBA from Troy State University in Alabama.
He also is focused on giving back to further causes he cares about and has served on several non-profit boards. He is currently a member of the Old Dominion University’s Strome School of Business Advisory Council and a member of the Tucson Conquistadores.

Troy M. Hoch is a real estate attorney and partner with Quarles & Brady LLP and has been in private law practice since 2002. He concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial construction transactions, commercial lending, real estate lending, general real estate and business transactions, and Indian law. Troy received a BA degree in business administration from the University of San Diego and a JD degree from Gonzaga University School of Law. Upon graduating from law school, Troy was in-house counsel for a heavy highway construction contractor for five years. In 2001, he formed Ironbuy.com, an online auction company and ASP focused on the heavy equipment industry. Troy, along with his wife, Jen, founded LegalBreeze, Inc. in late 2017, and, with the considerable help of original stakeholders, Mark Dean, Larry Stiffman, Tom Norton, Adam Lazarus, Edward and Miriam Salido and Ted Bernstein, LegalBreeze was launched in Southern Arizona on May 28, 2020.

Connect with Mark Dean here:


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The art of startup valuations with Brian Ellerman

Welcome back to investor’s corner,  this week we’re going to talk with Brian Ellerman, angel investor and the founding director of Arizona FORGE.

As both a technology scout and angel investor, Brian brings a very impartial and diplomatic view to help entrepreneurs navigate early-stage investments.

Brian Ellerman

Brian Ellerman is the Founding Director of FORGE . To see his full bio, scroll to the end of this article. 

Lessons about the art of valuations:

  • Listen to and take into consideration expert investor perspectives: Active angels are seeing 100 or more presentations a month, and as a result, they know what valuations are normal, expected, and reasonable.
  • Ensure you are able to explain your valuation:   Being able to back up the value of the company with evidence will be extremely important, especially if you are outside the realm of normal, expected, or reasonable valuations.
  • There needs to be room for growth: As Brian said, smart investors know not to eat the whole apple. If an investor takes half of the company, what’s left for the entrepreneur?    “The best investors have a very open dialog with founders about a fair valuation and reasonable sized portion”.   Ensure that as you’re putting together your valuation and offer you leave room for growth.

Brian Ellerman’s Bio

Finding Opportunities and Resources to Grow Entrepreneurs (FORGE)
• Inspire and cultivate entrepreneurial thinking (FORGE’d at UA)
• Advance the entrepreneurial ecosystem (FORGE at Roy Place)
• Drive scale-up/launch acceleration (FORGE Ahead)

Angel investor (https://angel.co/brian-ellerman?public_profile=1) in 100+ and advisor for dozens of startups globally. Member of international Together. Health Steering Committee. Serve on various advisory boards, and founded the Tucson STEM Community.

Studied biology, chemistry, and mathematics at Wabash College, earned a BS cum laude in clinical pathology at Marist College, an MS in Management Information Systems from the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management, Master of Legal Studies (ongoing) at University of Arizona’s Rogers College of Law, and studies toward a PhD in Organization and Management with a Specialization in Leadership at Capella University. Native Arizonan.

Episode Mentions:

  • Books and Papers:
  • Organizations:

Connect with Brian Ellerman here:


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